Oil Center —
Norman Oklahoma’s Danny Jennings captured the 7th Annual Oklahoma State Championship race Saturday night in a dominating performance at Oklahoma Sports Park in the 20th round of the season-long Oil Capital Racing Series 2013 sprint car tour.
In winning the 25-lap contest in his second OCRS race of 2013, Jennings becomes the sixth state championship winner. The first OSC race was held in 2007.
Also, the win by the driver of the 1j car makes Jennings the 13th different winner on the OCRS circuit, which adds to the current series record for the number of different winners in a single OCRS season.
“Our night went great,” said the jubilant winner. “We rolled it (race car) out of the box (trailer), and it was fast right out of the box. You don’t get those very often.”
Jennings was second in the 2009 OSC in a tight race and was glad to finally be in the winner’s circle.
“I really wished Andy Shouse and Whit Gastineau were here. They are the ones that outran me the last couple of times,” he said. “There are a bunch of good, clean drivers that race with OCRS, and there are a couple of tracks I typically pick and choose to run. Lawton Speedway and here (Oklahoma Sports Park), mostly because they are close to my family and friends and they can come watch me race. It makes it that much better when we win and they are all here.
"We have lost this race every which way you can imagine, including losing it at the line going for the checkered (a reference to the 2009 race, when Andy Shouse nipped Jennings at the line). I’m just glad we could get one tonight.”
Jennings started the race on the pole along side fellow front row starter Strike Hill, who was also making his second OCRS start of the season in his No. 13 car.
Jennings powered his way to the front as the field shot into turn one at the start. Fred Mattox followed Jennings through the south turns to take second from his inside third row position as the field broke for the back stretch with Hill taking the third spot. Johnny "Hotrod" Kent would tuck in behind Hill, and Robert Sellers would occupy the fifth position.
Lap four saw Sellers overtake Kent in turn two on a track that was quickly taking on rubber.
As laps were clicking off the 4/10-mile track, a yellow fell on lap number 16 when OCRS point leader Harli White and Shayla Waddell made contact in turn number three. Both would stall, but each would restart tailback. Before a lap could be completed, a red was tossed into the air as White came upon the cars of Tyler Cothran of Wichita Falls, Texas, and Locust Grove’s Alex Decamp. Cothran and DeCamp were in the process of making contact with one another in turns three and four, and White clipped them and went into a hard flip. While the car was badly hurt, White walked away unscathed. Cothran and DeCamp would retire as well.
The restart had Jennings holding first with Mattox next, followed by the lapped car of Michael Bookout, then Hill, Sellers and Kent. Mattox, who has been close to winning at OSP in recent trips, knew the restart was his chance if he were to get around Jennings and he did just that, but it only lasted a few seconds. When the green dropped, Mattox, who was the only threat to Jennings all night, got a run on him entering turn one and for a moment took the lead. Just as Mattox could see a track with no view of a chrome bumper in sight, the rear end in his sprinter gave way, thus having to relinquish the very brief lead back to Jennings. Mattox then pulled into the infield, likely wondering why his luck at OSP is so hard to come by.
From there, Jennings was never seriously challenged again, as he would continue to pull out to large leads after each restart. Hill would hold down the second spot for his career-best OCRS finish.
“This was a tough track to pass on tonight,” said Hill. “There were some spots there was rubber, and there were slick spots too. I was running Danny down a little bit before that red flag. After the red, the track went away and my car went away. I just was holding on (at the end), looking for the checkered flag.”
Robert Sellers crossed the stripe in third, with Johnny Kent fourth and Shane Sellers fifth. 2011 OSC winner Gary Owens was sixth, Sheldon Barksdale seventh, and Cody Cothran eighth, with Shayla Waddell coming back for a ninth-place finish after her earlier skirmish. Kyle Clark rounded out the Top 10.
Mattox was the night’s Dyno Services of Oklahoma Hard Luck award recipient.
The OCRS teams are off next week but will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the West Siloam Speedway. For more information on the OCRS sprint car series, including updates, stories, photos, complete 2013 point standings and future schedules, check out www.ocrsracing.com.
7th Annual Oklahoma State Championship
Oklahoma Sports Park • Ada, Oklahoma
Saturday, Sept. 14
Car Count: 25
1, 4-Shane Sellers . 2, 1J-Danny Jennings . 3,33-Gary Owens . 4, 22C-Cody Cothran . 5, 78-Perry Pickard . 6, 31-Casey Wills . 7, 3G-Jeff Garnett .
1, 10K-Kyle Ezell . 2, 4X-Robert Sellers . 3, 17W-Harli White . 4, 007- Michael Bookout . 5, 21C-Tyler Cothran . 6, 7m-Chance Morton .
1, 84-Alex DeCamp . 2, 20-Sheldon Barksdale . 3, 88S-Shayla Waddell . 4, 13-Strike Hill . 5, 8J-James Fabian . 6, 5$-Danny Smith .
1, 55-Johnny Kent . 2, 26M-Fred Mattox . 3, 8M-Kade Morton . 4, 9-Derek Cottrell . 5, 9$-Kyle Clark . 6, 3x-Justin Mowry .
1, 8M-Kade Morton . 2, 22C-Cody Cothran . 3, 9-Derek Cottrell . 4, 21C-Tyler Cothran . 5,31-Casey Wills . 6, 9$-Kyle Clark . 7,007-Michael Bookout . 8, 7m-Chance Morton . 9, 8J-James Fabian . 10, 78-Perry Pickard . 11, 3G-Jeff Garnett . 12, 3x-Justin Mowry . 13, 5$-Danny Smith . (DNS).
OCRS A Feature
1, 1J-Danny Jennings . 2, 13-Strike Hill . 3, 4X-RobertSellers . 4,55- Johnny Kent . 5, 4-Shane Sellers . 6, 33-Gary Owens . 7, 20-Sheldon Barksdale . 8, 22C-Cody Cothran . 9, 88S-Shayla Waddell . 10, 9$-Kyle Clark . 11,9-Derek Cottrell . 12, 7m-Chance Morton . 13, 8M-Kade Morton . 14, 10K-Kyle Ezell . 15, 31-Casey Wills . 16, 007-Michael Bookout . 17, 26M-Fred Mattox . 18, 17W-Harli White . 19, 84-Alex DeCamp . 20, 21C-Tyler Cothran